ARRI combines its Alexa LF sensor with its Alexa Mini body with the new Alexa Mini LF.
Since releasing its Alexa LF camera just over a year ago, ARRI has found a way to turn heads once again with the unveiling of its new Alexa Mini LF, a combination of two cameras in one compact offering with ARRi's large format sensor placed inside the popular Alexa Mini body.
This is big news for ARRI fans and filmmakers looking for the best of both worlds. “Large format, small camera,” as ARRI bills it, the new Alexa Mini LF will feature Netflix-approved UHD up to 60fps and lower noise with higher usable sensitivity.
Here’s everything you need to know about ARRI’s new Alexa Mini LF.
ARRI Alexa Mini LF
Let’s start with the sensor. ARRI reports that the Alexa Mini LF will use the same A2X sensor from the Alexa LF, which is slightly larger than full frame at 36.7mm x 25.54mm. The Alexa LF Mini will include three different sensor models, listed below.
- LF Open Gate: 36.70 x 25.54 mm with (4448 x 3096) at 44.71mm image circle
- LF 16:9: 31.68 x 1782 mm with (3840 x 2160) at 36.35mm image circle
- LF 2.39:1: 36.70 x 15.31 mm with (4448 x 1856 photo sites) at 39.76 mm image circle
The LF Open Gate being the optimal pixel size, while the LF 16:9 will maximize lens options at 4K and max 60fps recording and the LF 2:39:1 being the cinematic widescreen option. The El values are between 160-3200 with true 800 ASA sensitivity.
The Alexa Mini LF includes internal recording of MXF/ARRIRAW or MXF/Apple ProRes in various formats and aspect ratios, as well as a new Compact Drive recording media from Codex. All told, with Codex’s High-Density Encoding, ARRI RAW file sizes could be reduced by up to 40%.
- 4.5K in LF Open Gate and LF 2.39:1
- UHD in LF 16:9
- 2K 16:9 with in-camera downscale in LF 16:9
- HD 16:9 with in-camera downscale in LF 16:9
The Alexa Mini LF should have about the same exposure latitude as the Alexa AF with 14+ stops, but with less noise and better skin tones.
New MVF-2 Viewfinder
One of the great things about the Alexa Mini was its compact handheld-friendly size. To add to its free wield-ability, ARRI has also announced a new attachable MVF-2 EVF with a handy flip-out LCD screen. The updated MVF-2 has a 4” screen, 1920 x 1080 high contrast OLED display and eyepiece designed for high resolution, low distortion and evenly illuminated viewing.
Size, Weight and Power
The Alexa Mini LF will reportedly clock in at 5.7 lbs (2.6 Kg) which is actually slightly heavier than the Alexa Mini. The Alexa Mini LF can be powered by any 14.4 V on-board battery (or 24 V on-board batteries) with a voltage input range from 11 V to 34 V, with a power draw also slightly higher than the Alexa Mini.
Optimized for large format lenses, the Alexa Mini LF includes an LPL lens mount that accepts ARRI signature primes, ARRI Rental DNA LF and 65 format optics and third-party LPL lenses. However a PL-to-LPL adapter which can easily be attached to the LPL lens mount which offers backwards compatibility with all PL mount lenses (including Super 35 and full frame).
ARRI reports that other manufacturers such as Panavision and Vantage will continue to offer propriety lens mounts for their LF cameras as well, resulting in an almost “unlimited amount of lens choices” when shooting with the Alexa Mini LF.
Price and Availability
ARRI estimates that the first Alexa Mini LF cameras will begin shipping mid-summer 2019 with a basic set price of nearly $60,000. Which, while quite expensive, is actually pretty in line with their current Alexa Mini price point.
- ARRI Alexa Mini LF (body only): $58,760
- ARRI Alexa Mini LF (w/ PL-to-LPL adapter): $59,890
- ARRI Alexa Mini LF (ready to shoot set): $70,620
Here’s everything included in the Alexa Mini LF “ready to shoot” set.
- ALEXA Mini LF camera body
- ARRI LPL Lens Mount ALEXA Mini/AMIRA
- Codex Compact Drive 1TB (CA08-1024)
- ALEXA Mini LF Multi Viewfinder MVF-2
- Cable VF (0.35m/1.15ft)
- Cable VF (0.5m/1.5ft)
- Mini Adapter Plate MAP-2A
- Mini Viewfinder Bracket MVB-1
- Center Camera Handle CCH-2
- Mini Side Bracket MSB-3
- Mini Side Bracket MSB-2
- Compact Bridge Plate CBP-1
- Rear Accessory Bracket RAB-1
- RAB-1 Clamp 2
- Rod Mounting Bracket RMB-3
- 15mm Reduction Insert
- Gold Mount Power Splitting Box Mk II
- Bottom Plate 300mm/12″
- Power Cable Straight KC-50 2m